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day three

Ryanair Chase ante post tip: 5/1 Cue Card rock solid as market leader

These are exciting times for everyone associated with Cue Card, who has finally reached the top. He looks a great bet at 5/1 to win the Ryanair Chase again says Lewis Jones.

It seems people have underestimated the brilliance showed by the matured Cue Card to win the Ryanair last season.

It was a performance that lifted him into the great category after a couple of seasons of threating to get there.

Colin Tizzard has now found the horse’s niche and gap in the market at 2m5f and there is no reason why he won’t be targeted a defending his crown after a season competing probably against the three milers.

The fact that Cue Card, who was the one dictating matters in the Ryanair, was pushed by Champion Court, who finished very tired, was able to gallop on relentlessly for an authoritative success suggested that that Ryanair showing was the top-class performance it looked.

It was a performance that identified just how much the chaser has improved and matured under the wise handling of Tizzard.

For those that have followed the Sprinter Sacre story from its outset should not be surprised to see that Cue Card has turned into a top class animal.

The form book shows that Sprinter Sacre is the highest rated horse in training and Cue Card has only been six or seven lengths behind him whilst not running to the best of his ability. He proved that in the Melling Chase when getting closer to Sprinter Sacre than he ever has done before.

Four lengths was the distance and although Sprinter Sacre won on the bridle, it was a huge effort from Cue Card, who had the previously raved about Flemenstar 19 lengths behind him in third.

A glance at the ante post market has filled our punting veins with adrenaline. Quite how such an impressive of the race is a 5/1 shot at this stage is a bit of head scratcher.

There doesn’t look to be many good novices coming through the ranks at this level and there is every reason to think Cue Card will continue getting better this season: a frightening thought.

We would recommend all punters who like making ante post bets to get on the 5/1 available as if he stays in rude health, he’ll bound to be a lot shorter come the Festival.

When you look at his potential opposition in the race, it only further enhances his claims of victory. The Ryanair is a bit of a funny race to weigh up sometimes as it involves horses stepping up from two miles or horses dropping down from three, so it’s not always won by a real top-class performer, usually one that performs best on the day.

However, this is Cue Card’s race now.

He’s not quite good enough to beat Sprinter Sacre at two miles or stays strong enough to feature in a Gold Cup, so this is his logical race and at this distance there doesn’t seem much that can beat him.

Dynaste is 7/1 in the betting, but surely will be a Gold Cup hope for David Pipe whilst Simonsig is more likely to target this race but doubts remain about his staying power despite his unbeaten record over fences.

Cue Card is a horse with an enormous amount of raw ability and there would be no reason to count him out of a crack at the King George either in December if the ground was on the good side.

He has the perfect combination of speed and sound jumping technique to go very close at Kempton.

You can get 10/1 on his chances, which looks a cracking each-way wager at this stage too.

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